Hannah and Eyal Izrael established Carmey Avdat Farm in 1998 as part of the Wine Route Project. The farm is located in a hidden river valley and is built on the remains of an ancient agricultural settlement from the Byzantine period. The farm produces wine from grapes cultivated in the vineyards and is an ecological tourist site that is open to the general public.
From 1982 to 1984 Hannah and Eyal lived at the Ben Gurion College and worked as guides at the Sde Boker Field School. They wandered along the trails, canyons, ancient farms, and orchards and studies geology, botany, zoology, ornithology, and archeology. They absorbed the various cultures and authentic traditions while traveling through the deserts of Sinai, Australia, Morocco, and Jordan, and fell in love with the Negev. The experiences and knowledge that they acquired have served as a database for their daily lives on the farm for the past twenty years.
From 1991 to 1998 they lived in the town of Mitzpeh Ramon, and life in the desert highlands inspired their vision of restoring an ancient farm to its past glory.
Carmey Avdat Farm was established during the holiday of Sukkot in 1998. The land was desolate, without trees or vegetation. The ancient terraces in the riverbed were the only silent witnesses of the thriving life that once existed here.
The family of five lived in a trailer without electricity and an underground pipeline brought water to the trailer and grapevines.
The farm grows grapes for wine, conducts experiments in grape cultivation, and produces desert wines in the boutique winery. The farm also operates bed and breakfast cabins that offer unique agro tourism-style lodging. The farm also organizes group tours and workshops. The farm's produce and metal artifacts are sold in the farm's gallery.
The vineyard was carefully planted to preserve the ancient terraces and to utilize their previous irrigation system. Red grape varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbara, and Pettit Verdot were planted alongside the white varieties of Chardonnay and Viognier. Wines such as rosé, dessert wines, and port complete the list of local wines produced on the farm.
The guest cabins were built to blend into the landscape, but situated to take advantage of the breezes and desert sun for heating and cooling. All the infrastructures on the farm - including electric lines, are buried underground along the slope. Fruit trees were planted and bathing pools were built to resemble the natural rock pools in the desert.
The Izrael family has lovingly taken root here and made a home between the vineyards in the riverbed and the ancient rock carvings on the nearby hills.
Carmey Avdat Farm is a tourist site and is open to vacationers, hikers, and tourists who visit the Negev.
On a personal note, "It is our privilege to be one of the first farms to be established as part of the Wine Route Project. We play a leading role in the exciting processes that are taking place in the Negev in recent years."
Come visit us and hear the story and history of a family that founded a single-family homestead!
Hannah and Eyal Izrael
Carmey Avdat Farm